The Story Of Inky, The Most Badass Octopus In The Sea

The story of Inky the Octopus is one for the history books. Inky - a cephalopod - was more than just an octopus, he was an escape artist dreamer who made headlines. Cephalopods are a class of aquatic sea creatures that includes squids, octopuses, nautiloideas, and cuttlefish. These creatures are defined as having bilateral symmetry, soft bodies, a set of tentacles or arms, and a prominent head. There are over 800 types of cephalopods in the world - but none like Inky. 

Inky - the most badass octopus in the sea - came from New Zealand's Pania Reef, but his journey didn't end there. This octopus escape artist took his destiny into his own tentacles after being put in an aquarium and escaping through a drain pipe. Some regard his pilgrimage home as a legendary feat, while others proclaim him to be a hero of restriction. One thing is certain; Inky was one heck of a cephalopod.

Whether you’re a fan of cephalopods or just want to know more information about the famous Inky, check out this list to learn more cool octopus facts.

  • Inky's Great Escape

    Inky's Great Escape
    Photo: albert kok / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    Inky is the most badass octopus in the sea because he refused to stay put. While he was a resident at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Inky decided he had had enough. In the dark of the night Inky slipped out of his tank and jumped back into the sea. Employees at the aquarium said they were able to determine how Inky got out by following his watery trail. 

    In reports covering Inky’s escape, he is often referred to as an eight-legged Houdini. So, how did Inky escape? In all honesty, it wasn’t magic. The truth is the lid to his tank was left slightly ajar. Inky, upon noticing this, sprang into action and managed to slip out of the small gap, crawl over eight feet across the floor, and manipulate his boneless basketball-sized body down a six-inch in diameter drain pipe that eventually led him to the sea. By the time the aquarium team noticed he was missing, Inky was already long gone and never to be seen again.

  • Inky Is A Common Reef Octopus - But There's Nothing Common About Him

    Inky’s bulbous head, large cartoonish eyes, and eight, long suction cup legs certainly make him look adorable; but what kind of octopus is Inky? He's species is generally known as the common reef octopus or scientifically referred to as a Pinnoctopus Cordiformis. This cephalopod can reach around three feet long and is regional to New Zealand and off the coast of South Australia. It can be easily identified by its iridescent spotted web and arm markings, as well as its distinctive coloration, which is either a greyish-purple or orange-brown color.

  • Where Did Inky Come From - And Did He Go Back To His Birthplace?

    The story of Inky really begins on the Pania Reef. He was caught by some fishermen who brought him to the aquarium. He needed some help - Inky was battered and bruised from fights with fish on the reef. At his new home he was fed regular meals and was even given a companion named Blotchy. 

    What is the Pania Reef? It's located near Napier in New Zealand, and is about one mile long. It's home to an abundant sea life population, that includes fish, crabs, eels, and octopuses like Inky. Is it possible despite the rough life Inky endured in the reef - engaging in fish fights that left scars - he would return? 

  • Octopuses Are Master Escape Artists

    As amazing as Inky’s escape story sounds, it’s not an unusual task for an octopus to perform. In fact, statements released from several aquariums around the world have reported the octopuses they house escape their enclosures or at least try to escape more often than people realize. In truth, octopuses are great at escaping because they are master contortionists and super intelligent, possessing excellent memories. Since they have no bones in their bodies, they can compress and manipulate their forms to fit into small spaces or squeeze out of tiny openings.

  • Octopuses Are Super Smart

    Octopuses Are Super Smart
    Video: YouTube

    Research shows that octopuses have a cognitive working brain network, which is comprised of one central brain and eight neuron-packed ganglia in each arm. This allows them to learn, remember, and form mental maps within complex environments. Because of their excellent brain activity, octopuses can easily hide from predators, catch their pray more effectively, and escape from confined areas. Over the years, observational tests demonstrate that octopuses can free themselves from closed containers and open securely closed bottles.

    Employees at the aquarium believe because Inky is so smart (and badass), he noticed the lid of his tank was ajar. He then pushed it aside just enough to give him an escape route. 

  • Inky Had His Heart - Rather, His Three Hearts - Set On Returning To The Ocean

    If you though that Inky had his heart set on returning to the sea one day, you’re wrong! Inky would actually have three hearts set on returning to the ocean. That’s right! Octopuses have three hearts stored in their heads. Two pump blood through the gills to help the creature breathe, while the last one pumps blood through its vital organs. Interestingly to note, the blood of an octopus is a blue color. This is due to the amount of copper based proteins found in its blood, called hemocyanin. It's also interesting that octopus prefer crawling over swimming. When octopuses swim, it causes their heart organs to stop functioning, halting the blood flow process and exhausting the creature.